There is a famous group that takes the attraction rather than promotion approach “in all its affairs.” Now don’t get me wrong I think that getting info out to the masses is very important. If people aren’t able to see it then they are not able to make the choice because they do not know what is available to them. On the other hand in this time of wonderful materials, blogging, online articles and the millions of other ways that we can use promotion to the benefit of AP and all that encompasses there is sometimes the most vital thing missing. Attraction.
I have been known to post many things that “prove” that AP principles are correct and are better for mothers, fathers, babies, other children… etc. I have read articles and books and know about many of the things that promote good attachment in an infant and throughout a child’s life. I lived with the consequences of children not being attached. Somewhere in there I thought that I had every right to let people know and then to be disturbed when they did not make the right choice.
There is nothing wrong about being concerned about the choices others are making but there is something wrong when it starts disturbing your own peace. Why? Because your peace is the balance of a family home. And when we become full-time promoters that are constantly promoting we end up with no time to do the one thing that will actually change the hearts and lives of many. Attraction.
Who would want to be like me when I am run ragged from promoting all the benefits of breastfeeding, babywearing, healthy food, natural childbirth, spending time with your kids… and the list goes on and on. Wouldn’t they rather see it demonstrated in my life? Wouldn’t I rather see it demonstrated in my life?
I don’t know about you but I like seeing other people’s flaws and failures. Not because I want to gloat and say “see I do better than that” but because I want to come in to some sort of human contact with other parents. I want to see their flaws and errors and yet see their children flower into wonderful people because the they, we, are constantly striving for pure attachment to our children and them to us.
Attraction is an intoxicating thing. I am attracted to many things. It is what makes life so enticing. Smells, tastes, sounds and touch. Those are what drive our human bodies. And then there is something deeper. The underlying spiritual life of every human being. Something has to appeal to one or all of these things to make it attractive to someone.
Promotion can convince someone that something is right but they can just as easily be convinced that it isn’t. I knew a family when I was growing up who was constantly changing their mode of discipline and I mean constantly. Every six months it would be something different. This built confused and frustrated parents and children. Each new mode of discipline was promoted so well that the parents were convinced that this was finally the “right” way to do things.
I personally have been convinced of things through promotion. I mean look at commercials. They work! But it does not mean that they product itself will work in actuality in your or your child’s life. Why? Because promotion is all about putting something in the best light possible even when it is reading off a list of sometimes deadly side-effects. Not only that but I have a theory that many of us like to choose the promoted item because if it does not work it is not our own personal failure but the failure of the promoter to inform us fully or the item to work like we were told it would or anything to avoid personal failure.
Attraction comes with all the bumps and bruises of failure. Sometimes I try things and they just don’t work and I have to go back to the parenting drawing board. The difference is I am taking personal responsibility for the action and success, growth and failure of my parenting life. And hopefully as my life is being refined the fragrance from the constant crushing is smelled by those few and many who will smell it and it will attract them in to a fulfilling, ever-changing, attached life.
Jasmine is a co-housing, home birthing, missions minded, community living mama with a passion for fierce writing. She blogs.
Photo used from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/araswami/2247415251/
3 thoughts on “Attraction Rather than Promotion”
Agreed. I think it’s important to lead by example. Live the AP life and don’t always make it about advocacy. There’s a time and place for that, but it’s not every time and every place.
I love this, its so true. I often have to pull away from arguments in news articles and such because it is just too upsetting to know what people in the ‘real’ world really think- it’s so sad and disheartening.
I have surrounded myself with positive, gentle people for a reason and I have to remember that when I am drawn into an article that attacks AP or breastfeeding or whatever.
It’s a good reminder to stop and remember that the real people in my real life are much more important that anonymous ones, whom I’ll never hear from again.
Very nice. Thank you! 🙂